or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac OS X › Review: Doxie Go battery-powered portable scanner is a workhorse
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Review: Doxie Go battery-powered portable scanner is a workhorse

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Many people love the idea of living a paperless life, but the reality of constantly scanning and tagging documents is usually grim. AppleInsider recently went hands-on with Doxie's battery-powered Doxie Go portable scanner, which promises to lighten up that dreary task.




Hardware



What you get

The $199 Doxie Go is designed to be used on its own, connected only occasionally to a computer when its memory is full -- and its industrial design fits this purpose nicely. The scanner is made of matte, soft-touch black plastic with an Apple-style white cover over the top, and it's only slightly taller and wider than the ultraportable $199 Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 that we used as a benchmark.

Surprisingly, despite packing a built-in battery that the company says is good for scanning some 100 documents per charge, the Doxie is only marginally heavier than its Japanese counterpart. In our view, anybody dealing with a sufficient amount of paper that they need to carry a scanner around with them is unlikely to feel burdened by the Doxie's presence.

Controls are sparse: the Doxie sports only a single power button on its upper right. The button includes a built-in multicolor LED which acts as the scanner's status indicator; a green light means the scanner is in its default 300 DPI mode, while an orange glow points to a higher resolution 600 DPI setting.




The Doxie Go includes enough built-in memory to hold 450 pages of documents or 1800 photos in 300 DPI mode, but heavy users can plug a USB thumb drive or SD card into its chassis for additional storage. The Doxie also works with WiFi-enabled SD cards, letting users eschew wires when downloading documents.

Our review unit came packed with a power brick with interchangeable plugs for different outlet layouts, a USB cable for charging and sync, quick start documentation, a photo sleeve, and a cleaning and calibration tool.

How it works

After topping up the power -- our unit took about an hour to charge out of the box -- scanning is as simple as turning on the Doxie and sliding a piece of paper into its slot. Doxie says the scanner will accept anything from a business card to an 8.5-inch-by-15-inch sheet, though the largest document we were able to try was an 8.5-inch-by-14-inch U.S. legal size paper.

Scanning is quick, with sheets gliding through in about six seconds each. Though that's nearly one second per page slower than the ScanSnap, we prefer the Doxie's paper handling design, which tends not to angle the paper as often as the ScanSnap.




We had very few hangups or misalignments when scanning with the Doxie -- though receipts sometimes proved challenging -- and we grew to like its "scan now, organize later" approach. We found it less cumbersome when trundling through large stacks of documents than the traditional method of collating digital copies as you go.

When it comes to image quality, we found the Doxie to be essentially on par with the ScanSnap, though noticeably worse than a traditional flatbed scanner. Colors were slightly faded and some black-and-white documents showed an odd color banding in finely textured areas, but none of these issues affected readability.

Software



Though you are able to pull images directly from the Doxie's memory as though it were a digital camera, it's far more useful when combined with a software organizer.

It's worth noting that the Doxie will be automatically mounted in OS X once it's plugged in. When combined with the scanner's power-saving auto-off feature, this can spawn seemingly random "disk not ejected properly" warnings from OS X that nonetheless don't seem to harm the data.




Doxie

Doxie's own software offering (which is only available for download via the company's website and does not come in the package) is essentially a clever caching and triaging app. After importing, each scan shows up as a separate document, leaving it up to the user to collate, save, and export them.

Individual pages of a multi-page document can be "stapled" back together, and the software also lets users rename or rotate their scans before deciding what to do. While you could leave everything in Doxie as a sort of digital junk drawer, most people will likely choose to take advantage of its numerous integrations.

Documents can be directly exported as PDF, PNG, or JPG files. Doxie also provides the option of sharing files via email, AirDrop, or iMessage, sending them to cloud services such as Dropbox or OneNote, or pushing them to postprocessing applications like iPhoto or Photoshop.

Doxie's software does allow users to make a variety of alterations to each document.
Doxie's software does allow users to make a variety of alterations to each document.


Exporting documents as PDFs grants the option to run them through the excellent ABBYY OCR process, which we found to be extremely accurate. Though processing was sometimes lengthy, ABBYY correctly identified all but the blurriest of text and we were able to search through processed documents easily using Spotlight.

Our only complaint about Doxie's software is that multi-step workflows are a bit cumbersome, and we wish there was a way to create and save Photoshop-like actions. We'd love, for instance, to have a single button with the effect of "staple these three pages, run them through OCR, then save them as a PDF in Dropbox."

Conclusion



Before trying the Doxie Go, we were heavy users of Fujitsu's ScanSnap S1100, primarily due to its portability. We've now switched entirely to the Doxie because we prefer its paper handling, ease of use, and ability to run through a stack of documents quickly without pausing for administrative minutia.

Though it won't replace our flatbed scanner when quality is of the utmost concern and we wish the company would revisit some of its user experience choices in the companion software, we wholeheartedly recommend the Doxie Go for road warriors or those who simply prefer not to have to look at their computer every time they scan a document.

Score: 4.5 out of 5


ratings_hl_45.png

Pros
  • Lightweight, even with built-in battery
  • No computer required for scanning
  • Can tear through a stack of documents very quickly


Cons
  • Software could offer more customization
  • Relatively expensive for those who don't absolutely need portability


Where to buy



The Doxie Go is available at Amazon for $164.67, a 17 percent discount from the unit's $199.99 list price. Buyers can also pick up the Doxie case and Doxie Go-compatible Eye-Fi Mobi 8 gigabyte SDHC card for $39.99 at the internet retailer.
post #2 of 21
Why bother when you can just use any of the scanner apps on your iPhone that take a picture & turn it into a PDF?

How is this better or more convenient than that?
post #3 of 21
Originally Posted by DipDog3 View Post
How is this better or more convenient than that?


You must be joking.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #4 of 21
@dipdog3: Because taking a picture of a document is not that easy with an iPhone. You need a good surface, make sure the phone is perfectly horizontal, wait until the phone focuses, take light conditions (glaring) into account, ... Results can vary a lot so often you need to try multiple times.
post #5 of 21

@hagar - So this begs the question, why hasn't someone created a small apparatus that sets your iOS device on and lets you slide a long receipt (like the one featured) in front of the camera which can photograph it ala panorama mode. 

 

Even that probably isn't necessary as using the iOS device's camera is probably good enough even if it's not perfectly straight. 

 

My thought was- why not have an iOS app that works with this scanner via AirDrop, or just WiFi. When I think portability these days I think iOS stuff, not MacBooks... and I bet there are TONS more iOS devices out there that would use this kind of scanner than notebooks. 

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DipDog3 View Post

Why bother when you can just use any of the scanner apps on your iPhone that take a picture & turn it into a PDF?
There are many variables to contend with, not the least of which is the resolution of the final image. I suspect that it would be hard to get 600 usable DPI out of an iPhone.
Quote:
How is this better or more convenient than that?

Read the article.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Gregory View Post

@hagar
 - So this begs the question, why hasn't someone created a small apparatus that sets your iOS device on and lets you slide a long receipt (like the one featured) in front of the camera which can photograph it ala panorama mode. 
If I understand what you are saying, it might not be a bad idea. The trick of course is a pop up design. If you travel a lot for business even this scanner would be a pain in the but to take along. All the crap you need to keep track of is why I hate traveling on business, so if you came up with something that made life easier there would be a market for the product.

Of course now you have me thinking about iPhones Minimal focus distance. The other big problem is that there is no clean mounting arraignment that is well supported by all iPhones.
Quote:

Even that probably isn't necessary as using the iOS device's camera is probably good enough even if it's not perfectly straight. 
Good enough depends upon what you are using the "scan" for. I really doubt that a photograph will compete with this scanner in all cases.
Quote:
My thought was- why not have an iOS app that works with this scanner via AirDrop, or just WiFi. When I think portability these days I think iOS stuff, not MacBooks...
I understand your thoughts on portability but not everyone has the luxury of dropping the laptop in favor of an iOS device. In any event your point applies to both iOS devices and laptops, it should be easy to get files from the device wirelessly.
Quote:
and I bet there are TONS more iOS devices out there that would use this kind of scanner than notebooks. 
Err no, for the target market it is often a case of dealing with what the company issues you. Hell you may get stuck with a Windows machine running XP with barely enough RAM to start Windows
post #8 of 21
Key question is: does it scan duplex printed pages?
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


If I understand what you are saying, it might not be a bad idea. The trick of course is a pop up design. If you travel a lot for business even this scanner would be a pain in the but to take along. All the crap you need to keep track of is why I hate traveling on business, so if you came up with something that made life easier there would be a market for the product.

Of course now you have me thinking about iPhones Minimal focus distance. The other big problem is that there is no clean mounting arraignment that is well supported by all iPhones.
Good enough depends upon what you are using the "scan" for. I really doubt that a photograph will compete with this scanner in all cases.
I understand your thoughts on portability but not everyone has the luxury of dropping the laptop in favor of an iOS device. In any event your point applies to both iOS devices and laptops, it should be easy to get files from the device wirelessly.
Err no, for the target market it is often a case of dealing with what the company issues you. Hell you may get stuck with a Windows machine running XP with barely enough RAM to start Windows

I suppose so. I was thinking as a small business owner vs someone working for a company that issues laptops, you make good points.

 

If my math is correct, using the iPhone 5's camera you could get a DPI of 384 (at best) of something 8.5 inches wide using the longer side of the sensor. A typical store receipt that's less than 4" wide could be captured in even more detail. Heck, if a picture of a check is good enough for banks to use for a deposit... why not a receipt for you company? Particularly if you are submitting the hard copy. Creating the collapsable stand to keep everything square is gonna be the hard part. Someone do that and pay me a few $$ for the idea.. :) 

 

Getting back to this Doxie- I would think scanning receipts with this type of device would be something you would do back at the office or hotel room or something with this device. I still think there would be a big call for this to work with iOS (and other mobile OSes). 

 

Actually, would the legal world be interested in scanning a recently signed document with signatures? That might also be a use for this thing. I'm just speculating at this point. 

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DipDog3 View Post

Why bother when you can just use any of the scanner apps on your iPhone that take a picture & turn it into a PDF?

How is this better or more convenient than that?

Any scanner is likely better than taking a picture with the iPhone. But, using the iPhone is both convenient, and mostly good enough. I have done this on many an occasion when reviewing court files which cannot be removed and not worth the 25 cents/page copying charges.

post #11 of 21

I have had a Doxie Go for a number of years, and highly recommend it for people with poor vision. I use it primarily to read the important documents that come in my physical mailbox, and not by email. The OCR accuracy is very good, and I end up reading searchable PDFs on my zoomed 24 inch 2007 iMac. I have most of my business correspondence sent by email, and most businesses are happy to oblige, because electronic mail is cheaper than paper mail.

 

And yes, that 2007 iMac is running OS X 10.9.2.

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

Reply

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

Reply
post #12 of 21
I love my Doxie for quick jobs. Spring for the wireless option as hooking it up to your computer after scanning sort of ruins the convenience.

I find mine does fine with receipts but often grabs 8.5x11 sheets a little wonky. They could address this by having the unit pause a tad longer before pulling your sheet, allowing you time to correct the straightness before it gets sucked in.
post #13 of 21
You have got to be joking!
Kiss my a**!
I have scanner pro($6.99) and it works like a beast. Who the hell needs a freaking scanner anymore.
$200 vs a few thousand zero and ones that make up my digital scanner apt... Hmm, what a dilemma.
Not!
post #14 of 21
No one has asked a very important question - does doxie scan both pages at one go, like Fuji Scansnap.
post #15 of 21

Here's a good example of why the Doxie is cool. I also have three different scanning apps on my iPhone/iPad but when I had to scan over 100 pages once, I immediately grasped the Doxie concept of quick convenience. That said, the mobile apps for scanning are quite impressive. Just more cumbersome for heavy loads.

post #16 of 21
Wave Receipts takes an image of your bill, then scans and OCRs it at their end and sends you the results. Works just as well as any scanner I've seen, sans the scanner.

So please, don't tell us the camera isn't good enough and is too hard to use. It is, and isn't. Receipts works.
post #17 of 21
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post
You have got to be joking!
Kiss my a**!
I have scanner pro($6.99) and it works like a beast. Who the hell needs a freaking scanner anymore.
$200 vs a few thousand zero and ones that make up my digital scanner apt... Hmm, what a dilemma.
Not!

 

So I guess that software lets you hold the device perfectly still and perfectly parallel to the product being scanned? There’s absolutely no way its quality can be better than a physical scanner.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Gregory View Post
 

@hagar - So this begs the question, why hasn't someone created a small apparatus that sets your iOS device on and ....

 

No, it does not beg the question.  

As The Macalope says, "words mean things."

And you do not know what the phrase means.

 

http://begthequestion.info/

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I suspect that it would be hard to get 600 usable DPI out of an iPhone.

 

Actually, when I use my iPhone 5 to shoot a close-up photo of my iMac screen, the resulting photo can be zoomed in to clearly reveal the individual red/green/blue color elements in the center of the image.  See Screen shot of this image, displayed at 100%:  

 

My 24-inch "iMac 9,1" screen is a known target, having a 93.8 PPI monitor.  Each pixel is made of three color elements, which are thus set at about 281 per inch.  Furthermore, when I zoom in on the image to about 800%, and take another screen shot, it is clear that each RGB element is represented by about three pixels in the image:

 

Thus, my iPhone 5, lens wiped on my shirt, held stably at a distance of 4 inches, with mixed office lighting and no flash, captured a photo with 844 color pixels per inch off a known target.  The photo is 2448 pixels wide, and represents about 2.5 inches of screen width. So the photo captured a theoretical 980 pixels per inch, which is very close to what the photos above demonstrate.

 

So, in fact, "resolution" is not a problem in using an iPhone 5 as an improvisational scanner.  That said, I would still prefer something like the Doxie for scanning business documents, and a flat-bed scanner for imaging high-quality photographs. Because of issues such as uniformity of lighting, thermal color of the light source, auto-focus issues, aberrations in the lens (which is why this quality is only achieved in the center of the photo), and the need to stabilize the iPhone.  Also, as mentioned by others, one will want to avoid glare and distortion. And for multi-page documents, a sheet-feeder would be wonderful. Finally, to achieve the resolution shown above, the photo only "scanned" a 2.5-inch wide area: most practical documents other than receipts and old-fashioned business cards will be much larger.

 

So a scanner is still a great option, but let's not denigrate the quality of pictures from our iPhones!


Edited by TeaEarleGreyHot - 5/11/14 at 2:11pm
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DipDog3 View Post

Why bother when you can just use any of the scanner apps on your iPhone that take a picture & turn it into a PDF?

How is this better or more convenient than that?

You mean other than DPI??

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by DipDog3 View Post
Why bother when you can just use any of the scanner apps on your iPhone that take a picture & turn it into a PDF?
How is this better or more convenient than that?

You mean other than DPI??

 

The iPhone is capable of capturing an equivalent 600 DPI photo, but only of a document 4" wide.  A scanner is capable of capturing larger images at the 600 DPI resolution. A scanner also provides auto-feed, uniform brightness, controlled illumination temperature, and avoids the need for a camera tripod (or incredibly stable hands), and better reproducibility of image size. Unless you're a complete amateur without the availability of and appreciation for professional quality equipment and the resulting output, your phone camera will never replace a scanner.  


Edited by TeaEarleGreyHot - 5/11/14 at 2:24pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Mac OS X
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac OS X › Review: Doxie Go battery-powered portable scanner is a workhorse